by Phil Marsh

Buffet Cars on the Isle of Wight and Fitness carriages on Virgin Trains

Published: 1st April 2015

Little and large train companies introduce passenger benefits as examples of innovation.

To celebrate the resumption of Island Line services, Island Line introduced a buffet car service for early commuters from the morning of April 1st. Island Line said that they were grateful for their passengers putting up with nearly three months service disruption while last year’s storm damage was repaired – notably the huge landslip on the coastal side of the line near Shanklin.

On some days when the coach was not available, an orange road train ran as a substitute train from Shanklin. But this [proved somewhat uncomfortable in the winter weather so only ran on a few occasions.

Virgin Fitness coaches

Meanwhile also from April 1 2015 on the mainland, Virgin Trains’ West Coast services will be adding a new theme to their 125mph services.

They are replacing traditional seats with exercise bikes, cross trainers and running machines to create the world’s first ever on-board travelling gym on its fleet of Pendolinos and Super Voyager trains.

Named ‘Fitness Coach’, one carriage on each train will be packed full with state-of-the-art gym equipment that’s been hand-picked with the help of fitness experts at Virgin Active. In a ground-breaking move, the kinetic energy generated from each Fitness Coach will be harnessed and returned to the Grid increasing Virgin Trains’ energy return to 30 per cent.

Who would ever have imagined a buffet car on the Isle of Wight main line and working out on a Virgin? Rail privatisation has brought innovations never dreamed of by politicians of all parties!

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